Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My First Cellphone

I can still remember how communication evolved. From pagers came big analog cellular phones which you have to recharge for about 12 hours. We used to have one at home and our electric bill went up just because of it. Years went by and then came smaller cellphones. I remember that time Nokia 3210 was the first big hit in town and not just the town but the whole world (I think). Back then I have a few friends who decided to go along with the trend. As a student, I didn't have the luxury of buying one even when I started working. I've worked hard but never owned one.



When I started working abroad (around 1998), I remember telling myself "I'll definitely buy a cellphone this time" but it didn't happen as well. That time, communications in Saudi Arabia was so outdated. There were no cellphone services and no cell sites and cellphones were only seen in pictures and on TV. Just to give you an idea of how poor their technology was that time, back in the Philippines, internet dial-up is already available but not here in Saudi Arabia. There were no internet providers yet and call rates are up so high. There were a few internet providers that came but it was too expensive and you will have to connect via long distance to Bahrain in order to connect and receive data via satellite .

Saudi Arabia eventually realized the value of communication and began upgrading their facilities and services. Dial-up internet providers began to sprout like mushrooms plus the call rates became much cheaper. If I remember it correctly, expats were only allowed to have 8 local numbers and 1 international number preset on their sim cards. Expats were asked to fill-up an application form with 8 preset numbers along with the names of those people who you want to enlist. Then I thought - "I guess it's time". Since cellphones were like new toys, they were so expensive and for me to be able to support the family back home was much more essential than to buy myself satisfaction in having a new toy which "I can use to communicate with my family." - that was my mind trying to reason with me.



With a big smile on my lips, I uncovered my first cellphone. It was a Nokia 6110 and I didn't buy it. My boss eventually upgraded his cellphone and decided to give me his very old one. I was so thankful of him, imagine my first cellphone and I didn't spend a dime on it. It had a few cracks on it and some buttons were not working but technicians told me that those were quite easy to repair. So I spent around 75SR for the repairs, new keypad and new housing but it's fine as long as it's working like brand new. After it was repaired, it looked exactly as the picture below.



The joyful feeling when you are talking to your love ones be it on a cheap cellphone can't be compared to anything. Being away from them was already a sacrifice and communicating with them is the only reward an expat or OFW like me can ever have. First time will always be memorable for all of us regardless of how much value we spent to acquire it. But the most important thing was, I was able to communicate with my love ones whenever I want to. 

After I was able to buy a better cellphone I gave it to my younger brother and it was his first time to have a cellphone too - he was as excited as I was. It still works like brand new.


9 comments:

Bino said...

my first cellphone naman was nokia 3210, then 3510, tapos 3530, tapos nag motorolla L6 ako. nagtry din ako ng china phone. ngayon, nokia 3120c ang gamit ko at 3 years na sya sakin. naisip ko'ng wag magpalit ng phone hanggang masira to

xLeon said...

Wow talaga. Ang dami na rin pala. Ako nakaka-tatlong cellphone na rin eversince that firts time. Di naman kasi ako masyado mahilig sa cellphone hehe! Salamat sa pagbisita.

eoz said...

ako nokia 5110 ang first phone ko, tapos 3210, at madami n din sumunod, pero karamihan sa lahat ng iyon ay pamana sa akin ng mga kapatid ko. Lahat ng pinaglumaan napupunta sa akin.. :)

Siock said...

I remember year 2001 na ako nagkaroon ng celphone nokia 3330 pa sa palestine st. ko binili then i had to apply pa sa stc ofis nila sa makarunah then 8 numbers lng allowed, grabe anlaki ng monthly bill kahit di nmn ako nagtetext, pina-cut ko after few months then nagbayad pa ako cancellation fee worth sr400 plus. nagsisi lang ako, wala ring fayda pano kse ako lang noon ang walang cell sa company namin hehe.

xLeon said...

Eoz - mapalad ka at may namamana ka, kasi ako panganay kaya it is up to me to pass down my hand-me downs or nothing at all. Pero ngayon they can afford to buy for themselves na hehe!.

Siock - akala ko kung sinong taga-Jeddah na bagong blogger, ikaw pala NFB hehe! Good to hear from you again hehe!. Oo nga grabe noon no? Buti na lang ako nung mag-decide na magpa-disconnect ay wala na yung 400SR na disconnection fee.

Chin Chin @ Stay at Home Blessings said...

I am glad that when I came here in KSA, the communication technology is not as outdated - stay at home mom pa naman ako. At least, there's this thing called internet that helps pass the time.

Noel said...

It's really a good thing that they've come to their senses and improve their technology. I can't believe they are now more advanced than our country.

Pinaywriter said...

Nokia da best pa rin talaga. Kahit minsan nagtatry na magiba ng brand ang mga tito ko at parents ko laging me isang Nokia. ^.^

Noel said...

Thanks @Pinaywriter for the visit. Well, they are one of the pioneers in this technology so I think they have the advantage. The competition is very intensive though, halos lahat ng company ay merong alas.

I just hope they'll open to different OS like Android which is highly competitive sa Market.

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